• JoAnne Saldanha

Why I call myself a Story Educator.

Updated: Jun 10

The joy of spring cleaning. ....notes from the first storytelling workshop I attended. 24 August, 2002 with the most wonderful Storyteller Cathy Spagnoli.

It was here that I learnt the difference between storytelling and story reading. I was quite gob-smacked by her session which had been organised by Tulika Books at their wonderful little bookstore, Good Books in RA Puram.


As I looked over the notes...and I had been to a few workshops with her, I realise that much of what I treasure as a storyteller came from her teachings.

I started storytelling soon after, both performances as well as a small regular group of children who came home for sessions.

This experience of a regular group and the one off performances, helped me see the benefits of being a resident storyteller.


So in 2008 I made the conscious decision, to opt out of performance storytelling completely. Seeing the benefit of working with a regular set of children over 7-10 years of their school life, made me value the medium of storytelling to unconsciously spark interests, imagination, creativity, but most importantly empowering them to form and voice opinions and express them.

I know my students, and therefore can mould my next session based on what comes up in the previous one. There is a sense of comfort and trust which allows the children to share deeply and eagerly.

This was a very personal journey and I’m happy that I got the chance to experience both styles of storytelling. .

In my notes I read a highlighted section which I wrote....Identify your style, is it quite and thoughtful, is it dramatic, is it physical, is it musical, and stick with it.

I enjoy listening to all the performance storytellers and there are some wonderful tellers out there.

I identified my strengths and love my job as Myth Aunty...named so by my students, for all the Mythology stories from around the world I narrate to them.


I’ve been using Cathy’s book....it is one of the most invaluable resource books on storytelling, I do hope the wonderful folk at Tulika Books bring it back soon.



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